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Sanofi Canada

2905 Place Louis-R.-Renaud
Laval, Quebec, H7V 0A3

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Content :

How to Read a Label

The Nutrition Facts table contains information about the food product. This information includes calories, 13 core nutrients and the % daily value (DV) of nutrients. To help you make healthier food choices when shopping, follow along as we review the sample Nutrition Facts table below and highlight key areas to consider when making your food choices.


Serving Size

The serving on the sample food label is 1 cup (27 grams).

  • The amount that you eat may not be the serving size listed
  • Check the serving size when comparing one food label to another

The nutrient values listed on the Nutrition Facts table are the amounts for the indicated serving size. If you eat more than the stated serving size, you will have eaten more of those nutrients, and if you eat less than the serving size you will have eaten less of those nutrients.


% Daily Value

The % daily value can help you see whether a product contains a little or a lot of a certain nutrient.

You should be choosing foods that have:


Calories on the label are for the serving size listed. When you have diabetes, it is more important to focus on the carbohydrate content as it has the biggest impact on your blood glucose levels.


Fat is one of the 3 main nutrients we eat. Fat listed on the Nutrition Facts label represents the total amount of fat per serving of that food. There are different types of fats. "Saturated fat" that comes from an animal source raises LDL (bad) cholesterol. "Trans fat" that comes mostly from man-made products, raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol.


The amount of cholesterol is for the serving size indicated.


Salt contains sodium. Most Canadians eat about twice as much sodium as they need. Adults need 1500 mg of sodium per day and should not eat more than 2300 mg per day. 2300 mg of sodium is equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Tip: Look at the % daily value and try to keep the sodium to 10% DV (daily value) per serving. The recommended amount of sodium you should consume daily is based on your age as follows:

How to Read a Label
AgeRecommended intake of sodium (mg/day)
71 and older1200 (1/2 tsp)


Carbohydrate is one of the three main nutrients we eat. They are the body's main source of energy. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on raising blood glucose levels after meals. People with diabetes should choose healthier sources of carbohydrates such as legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lower-fat dairy products.
Under the carbohydrates section on the Nutrition Facts label, you will see fibre and sugars. Fibre is a part of the carbohydrate that does not turn into sugar (that you do not digest). Choosing foods with fibre helps:

  • make you feel full and helps you to lose weight
  • control blood glucose levels
  • control cholesterol levels
  • improve colon health
  • relieve constipation

Since fibre is not digested by the body, subtract the fibre from the carbohydrate on the Nutrition Facts label. Tip: Check the Nutrition Facts label when shopping for cereal, bread, soda crackers and cookies. Compare and buy the product with the most fibre.


Sugars are carbohydrates that can affect your blood glucose levels. Just because a food has sugar in it, doesn't mean that you can't have it. With good blood glucose control, sugar can be included in moderation. When a food says "No added sugar" or "Unsweetened" on the label, it still contains carbohydrates that increase your blood glucose levels. Tip: When buying food, look at the list of ingredients and the Nutrition Facts label.


Protein is one of the 3 main nutrients we eat. Protein helps to build and repair body tissues and is a source of energy. You won't see a % daily value on the Nutrition Facts label for protein, because most Canadians already get enough protein in their diet.

Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron

These are important vitamins and minerals that your body needs. You want to make food choices that have higher % daily value of these ingredients.

Ingredient List

Every packaged food has an ingredient list. This is a weighted list. The first item on the list is the ingredient that is present in the largest amount, the second item is the second largest, etc. Tip: Read the ingredient list like a food recipe. Example: when buying tomato sauce, if the first jar lists water as its first ingredient, and the second jar lists tomatoes as the first ingredient, you would want to choose #2 because you want tomatoes in the largest quantity, not water.

A lot of important information!